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Upper Back Pain Between the Shoulder Blades

massage therapy for pain in the shoulder blades

The Anatomy of the shoulder blades in our upper body is a complex structure and they are known as peripheral joints that make them more susceptible to injuries, and since they are bilateral joints they share muscles between them to create a similar synchronized action like pulling or pushing. Because of the way the shoulder blades share action between each other in the upper body, they have attachments to our upper spinal vertebrae, thoracic and cervical spine. There are also some postural muscles which are in charge of holding the spine erect and other actions like rotation, flexion and extension of the upper back.

Even in the case of a sedentary lifestyle, hands are always involved in some kind of physical activity, creating strain on shoulders. You lift grocery bags, carry children, or rush to catch a bus or a train with your extended hand which may be pulled by an opposing force. Thus, most of the time, your hands along with shoulders are under pressure, leading to pain in shoulder blades. In today’s world of fast paced life, upper back pain can be the result of improper habits, which have their origin in modern lifestyles. Excessive stress which is an outcome of the modern lifestyle can lead to pain under the shoulder blades. Here are some causes of back and shoulder pain:

Wrong Posture: Simple causes like incorrect posture during sleeping, sitting, playing, working or standing can cause shoulder pain.
Injured Rotator Cuff: Rotator cuff muscles control and stabilize the motion of the shoulder. A torn rotator cuff or any injury to the rotator cuff can lead to upper back pain, especially while lifting the arm overhead.
Tendonitis: Tendonitis (sometimes, an outcome of chronic arthritis) can lead to shoulder pain. The inflamed tendons in the shoulder, which join the muscles to the bone, can cause upper back pain.
Muscle Cramps: Muscle cramps while exercising; or strains, pulls while busy in daily activities, can lead to severe pain in shoulder.

Excessive Stress: Excessive physical as well as psychological stress can lead to upper back pain.

Treatment Suggestions:

To prevent pain between the shoulder blades we have to find out what is causing pain in the region. Sometimes basic range of motion and stretching the shoulder blades and neck muscle will alleviate the pain if we keep up with self care routine like mentioned earlier.

Massage therapy has been used and suggested by physicians and professional therapists, and is and effective way to reduce pain. Massage Therapists are able to use techniques like joint mobilization and active and passive stretches to improve movement and blood flow, helping to alleviate pain..

Massage Therapists are trained to give specific exercises and stretches to prevent further pain and improve tissue health and joint integrity in the upper back and mid shoulder region.


Shem RMT